Foxdenton Estate may be a little known gin maker but it now boasts a full range of gins including Sloe, Damson, Plum and even Raspberry Gin to compliment their London Dry offering reviewed here.
There is something endearing about Foxdenton 48 Gin, it’s not trying to be something it isn’t. It’s a gin that is heavy on the juniper and an unashamedly classic London Dry though and through.
Since 2001, when the Foxdenton company was passed to Nick Radclyffe, they have tried to develop the business in ways that coincide with the family and the estate’s history. Having been associated with hunting and shooting since the early 1800′s, they had been making fruit liqueurs at home (like many others keen on field sports). From this base, it was then logical that the next step (all-be-it ambitious) was to take this passion onto a larger scale and create a gin as well as other gin liqueurs for commercial purposes.
To do so, Nick Radclyffe and his partner John Simpson spent 6 months distilling ideas with the help of Master distiller Charles Maxwell (from Thames distillery, Clapham, where the gin is made). Their quest to create a traditional London Dry Gin both in flavour as well as in production methods came to fruition in July 2009, when the first bottle of Foxdenton 48 London Dry Gin was created.
If the bottle looks familiar it’s because it’s the exact same used for Hayman’s 1850 Reserve, but don’t be fooled – that is where the similarity ends. Using organic Juniper, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Coriander seeds, Lemon Peel, Lime Flower, Foxdenton 48 Gin lives up its label’s quote – “Strength and Flavour Combined”. On the nose, big notes of juniper and an indication of the alcoholic strength of the gin (48% ABV) come to the fore.
The liquid itself has pronounced flavours of juniper too, and certainly delivers strength by the bucket. That’s not to say that it’s a one trick pony however, the citrus integrates with the flavours nicely and the lime flower gives the gin a very clean finish. The coriander and angelica are distinct as they provide a depth to the gin, all of which combine to create a good, well rounded and generous gin experience.
Foxdenton 48 Gin has been well received by many drinks journalists and connoisseurs, yet it hasn’t really broken through to establish itself.
It would be fair to point towards the tough market conditions and how hard it is to be an independent producer in a saturated category, especially given some of the competitors’ budgets at over one hundred times bigger. Furthermore, it’s still early days for the team as they have only been on the market for a few years. However, given that other small names and even some US based craft distilleries have been receiving a lot of attention within similar timeframes (in no small way helped by slick PR, marketing strategies and savvy brand teams) it may also be fair to say that Foxdenton seems set to remain under the radar for the time being. That said, with a growing distribution network don’t be too surprised to come across Foxdenton’s either, as the gin is being listed in more and more outlets and will continue to do so as time goes on.
While the recommended retail price (around £25.00) means it’s up there with the super premium offerings, it holds it’s own relatively well. We feel that the liquid itself has the capacity to rival some of the more established gin names, as its traditional characteristics would appeal to many classic gin fans. Foxdenton 48 Gin may not be for the faint hearted – but for those that like a punchy spirit, it delivers every time.